Casa de Paz offers shelter from immigration storm

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DENVER -- Sarah Jackson says her passion for the game of volleyball runs deep in her veins.

“I love volleyball,” Jackson says. “It’s in my blood.”

Jackson is the founder of Volleyball Latino, a bilingual league made up of individuals and families of all ages and skill levels. She, and many members of the league, say Volleyball Latino is a special league.

“There’s a purpose behind the volleyball,” league member Roberto Castendada says. “Yeah, we’re here for a reason.”

The families who make up Volleyball Latino play together to support families that are forced to be apart.

“To have innocent people being torn apart and separated from their families because of a piece of paper doesn’t feel or sound right to me,” Jackson says, referring to families dealing with loved ones detained in immigrant detention centers.

Jackson’s concern for these immigrant families lead her to open Casa de Paz, a safe house for undocumented immigrants to stay when they are released from the ICE Detention Center in Aurora.

Families of detainees are also welcomed at Casa de Paz.

Jackson says undocumented immigrants are often released from the Aurora Detention Facility unprepared for what’s next.

“We also host people in this home who have been released from the immigration detention center and are not from the area and they have nowhere to go,” Jackson says.  “They have no family, no friends and they are basically left on the streets with no resources.”

She adds that individuals can stay at Casa de Paz as long as they need to make plans to be reunited with their families.

Casa de Paz is also the place Jackson calls home.

A one-bedroom apartment across the street from the Aurora Detention Facility, Casa de Paz is stalked with food, toiletries and care packages for all who stay.

“So if the room is full, I’ll just sleep on the couch,” Jackson explains. “And if the room and the couch are full, then I will find a friend to stay with. So in that sense, I am an immigrant for a night.”

Although life at Casa de Paz can be unpredictable, Jackson says her experience living in the safe house is rewarding.

“I have never been afraid when a guest has been here,” she says. “I have only had my life enriched by the guests that have been here. I have had the honor to meet people from China, from Morocco, from Africa, from Mexico from Australia.”

Members of Volleyball Latino must pay to join the league. The money raised from the volleyball fees keep the doors of Casa de Paz open.

And the league is open to all.

“You do not have to be Latino to be part of the volleyball league,” Jackson says.

Jackson hopes to expand Casa de Paz in order to help more people.

“I would love to find a home in this neighborhood that’s close to the detention center,” she says. “That way we can host more families and we don’t have to turn people away when we are at capacity.”

Jackson is also hoping to find a gym or warehouse she can purchase for Volleyball Latino.

The league is currently renting gym space.

With each dig, dive and spike, the families that make up Volleyball Latino give their all on the court while giving back to families they don’t even know.

“Obviously when it comes to the game, they are like, I want to win,” says Volleyball Latino player Andrea Gomez. “But I think at the end of the day, everyone is like, ‘I’m going to keep joining’ because this money is not only for my entertainment, but it’s for a good cause.”

Visit Casa de Paz’s website for more information.

Go to Volleyball Latino’s Facebook page for information about how to join and contribute to the cause.

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11 comments

  • Juan Illegal

    me and maria here illegal. we like all things you give . i have tahoe chevy with big chiny wheel you stupido gringo pay for! gracias! we no pay for nada! gracias! i no have licencia o seguro`s. hickenlooper say no problema! he give yob to me primo.. the primo kill policia.!! aye ! hickenlooper visit me primo in carcel they buen amigo`s! i go now pick up ancor baby from escuela you stupido gringo pay for.

  • J S

    Good one gohn. Of course your know why Jesus wasn’t born in Mexico? God couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin there. While you are out picking up the baby, don’t worry about your mom, sister and wife. I saw they picked out very save corners to work. Maybe very lucky tonight and one makes another baby. VIVA MEXICO the country where its’ own people would rather live like beggars somewhere else than live there.

  • Alexis Madrid

    I don’t think any illegal immigrants should be sent here. There are American citizens here in Colorado that need help or assistance and are denied. I just don’t see how anyone can support anyone coming into America getting the free ride. Why should they get to break the law? If we did do you think that we’d get off so easy? I understand they’re human beings but this isn’t good for our state or our country. Really I’m just sad to see what’s going on these days. And call me crazy but accepting strangers in general into your home is a little risky. I’m not even sure why any of us express our opinions they matter to no one. Maybe America will wake up and see these issues for what they are and not only secure our borders but fix our system to make it less difficult for people trying to come here legally. I see people’s comments full of hate and I see people who are completely oblivious as to the effect this surge of illegal immigrants will have on our country. :/

  • your mom's best friend

    I figured I can come to this thread for the lowest common denominator type of biggotry. Thanks for proving me right. I think your inbred children need you in trailer 6! Cheers!

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